It was an horrific night for the Wallabies and Australian Rugby in general. The Wallabies suffered a gut-wrenching 28-29 last minute loss to the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium last night.
Adam Ashley-Cooper’s 100th Test Cap got off to a frantic start with both side running hard and trying to hit each other into next Thursday. It was a mean, fast game that never really fizzed out. Both sides maintained the rage and intensity up for the entire match.
Referee Craig Joubert ran a pretty tight ship. It is easy to see why he is ranked the number one ref in Rugby.
The Wallabies drew first blood through Nic Phipps throwing a dummy from the ruck and diving across the line, barely hindered by the All Blacks defence. The lead up to Phipps’ try was a scything break from Christian Lealiifano and Israel Folau. During the following phases Sekope Kepu was left, unmoving in back-play but he got up and shook off any injury he may have suffered.
Bernard Foley easily made the conversion, proving that converting tries and penalties isn’t too hard when you’re not blinded by a sniper’s laser.
New Zealand struck back immediately, collecting their own kick-off. A string of passes and phases led to Corey Jane diving over in the corner.
Richie McCaw was up to his usual skull duggery being a perpetual pest in the ruck, but Joubert was wise to his tricks and let McCaw know it too.
The All Blacks hit again through Dane Coles. The big hooker exploited a yawning gap in the Wallabies defence and was able to stroll across with the greatest of ease.
Bernard Foley was able to sneak in one more try just before half time. Michael Hooper marched toward the line and was held up inches short. Foley plucked the pill out of the ruck and dove across the line on the short side much to Richie McCaw’s chagrin.
After the break the game was still played at the same frenetic, break-neck speed and intensity by both sides.
Centurion Adam Ashley-Cooper was able to fall across the line after a bullet like pass from Nic Phipps off the back of some great pressure from the Wallabies.
The kick-off after Ashley-Cooper’s try saw All Black Patrick Tuipulotu sent to the sin-bin for a tackle on Rob Simmons in the air. Bernard Foley converted the subsequent penalty and the Wallabies were sitting pretty.
Aaron Smith got over after taking a cheeky little quick tap about five metres out for a penalty against the Wallabies I’m still trying to decipher.
Nic White converted a penalty with three minutes to go. The All Blacks needed a converted try to win. They were hitting the Wallabies on their line with wave after wave of attack. They put on more phases than I’ve had cut lunches but the Wallabies defence held on until the 80th minute. Just after the 80th minute, however, Malakai Fekitoa was able to cross after the All Blacks spread the ball from coast to coast.
It was up to Colin Slade to convert the try and win the game. He did it too easily, breaking the Wallabies collective heart.
Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy had amazing games as did Tevita Kuridrani. In fact it's hard to point out any of the Wallabies as having a poor game.
After the match, to compound the Wallabies woes, coach Ewen ‘Link’ McKenzie threw in the towel and quit after only a year in the top job. Link’s resignation has left the greater public baffled, scared and confused. Why the hell would he quit? Sure he hasn’t been doing too well lately but in general he hasn’t been doing too badly either!
Bill Pulver launched into a weird diatribe accusing the media of a character assassination which lead to McKenzie's decision but Link is stronger than that. He wouldn’t give in after some vicious rumours. There must be some serious strangeness going on behind the scenes with the Wallabies. There is something rotten in Denmark and I don't like it.
Why did Link quit? Was it because of the Kurtley Beale saga?